Iraq war would advance Israel’s aims

In an Op-Ed piece in The New York Times of September 4, Ehud Barak, former Prime Minister of Israel, tried hard to make America’s case, and by the same token, Israel’s case, for the U.S. to go to war against Iraq.

His long article boils down to this: Saddam Hussein’s removal is urgently needed because of his nuclear-weapons program and of his readiness to use a nuclear weapon against America and Israel. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s position is practically the same. Both men do not hide the fact that Israel will also benefit from such a war.

What they carefully omit, however, is that Israel itself possesses nuclear weapons and lied about it for years. This fact was revealed to the Sunday Times of London in 1986 by a Jewish hero Mordechai Vanunu who still languishes in an Israeli prison for his “crime” of conscience.

Why is it that Israel is basically the only country in the world that is lending its total and unconditional support to the U.S. for attacking Iraq? Is it only for ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction? No doubt, that by ridding Iraq of any nuclear capability, Israel will be the only country in the Middle East that can blackmail its neighbors and not be blackmailed by them.

But there is another reason. In an article published in the British Sunday Telegraph of April 28, Prof. Martin van Creveld, Israeli military historian and professor at the Hebrew University, revealed something hardly believable. Taking advantage of the chaotic situation that a war against Iraq would create, Mr. Sharon would conduct ethnic cleansing Part 2. Part 1 occurred in 1948 when some 700,000 Palestinians were driven out of their homeland. “More and more people in Jerusalem,” wrote Prof. van Creveld, “believe that such is Mr. Sharon’s objective… In fact, he has always harboured a very clear plan—nothing less than to rid Israel of the Palestinians… Mr. Sharon would have to wait for a suitable opportunity—such as an American offensive against Iraq.”

A potential plan, according to Prof. Creveld, goes like this: “The expulsion of the Palestinians would require only a few brigades. They would not drag people out of their houses but use heavy artillery to drive them out; the damage caused to Jenin would look like a pinprick in comparison.”

Another article, “The Logistics of Transfer” by Boris Shusteff, dated July 3 and posted on Gamla website (www.gamla.org.il/english, a group founded by former Israeli military officers and settlers), calls for establishing a Jewish state that is “ethnically homogeneous” by “eliminating the demographic threat to the Jewish character of the state.” This can be achieved, according to Mr. Shusteff, “if Israel defines as her strategic aim the relocation of the Arabs.” It is revolting to read his advice to the Palestinians to abandon their homeland or “relocate” if they want a better future. “Relocation” is another sanitized word, besides “transfer,” for ethnic cleansing.

Mr. Shusteff cites in his article an opinion poll conducted by the Jaffa Center for Strategic Studies at the end of February 2002. The result was as follows: 46 percent of Israeli Jews favored “transferring” Palestinians from the occupied territories; and 31 percent favored “transferring” Israeli Arabs out of Israel proper. The 31 percent jumped to 60 percent when, as he put it, “the question of transfer was posed in a more roundabout way.”

The question now is: Where will the Palestinians in the occupied territories and those in Israel proper establish their state? Mr. Shusteff’s answer: “Today’s geopolitical situation presents two good options for its creation—either in the land of Iraq or of Saudi Arabia.

We have come full circle and the war against Iraq is back into the picture. “Today,” Mr. Shusteff wrote, “if America is realistically considering toppling Saddam Hussein, the idea of relocating the Palestinian Arabs to Iraq deserves serious attention.”

A recent precedent for such a methodical approach to ethnic cleansing, euphemistically called “transfer” and now “relocation,” can be found in Nazi Germany. The “democratic” Jewish state of Israel wants to do to Christians and Muslims under its control what Nazi Germany did to its Jewish population.

It is about time to recognize that Israel cannot be Jewish and democratic at the same time. Instead of applying the Nazi model, Israel should look to the multi- ethnic, racial, and religious society in the U.S. and emulate it. Racism, however, in all its forms, is well and alive in Eretz Israel.

24 September 2002